el Calafate to Ushuaia

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. We packed up our bike, enjoyed a homemade brownie at the lo de Haydee  Bakery then rode to el Calafate.

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The road was paved all the way and the wind was at our back.

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campsite el Calafate.
Campsite el Calafate.
After setting up camp we rode the 70km to Perito Moreno Glacier.P1100200
We were very fortunate to witness and record a 240 foot column of ice calving into the lake.

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After two weeks on our own, Tom and Tracy caught up with us in Calafate, nice to be riding together again.  The next morning the four of us departed to Torres del Peine Park in Chile. The ride to El Cerrito was relatively easy as we were on asphalt, but the strong winds that Ruta 40 is notorious for continued. After Cerrito it was rippia (gravel) all the way to the Chilean border with no rest from the wind.

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A popular place for a breather.
A popular place for a breather.

 

and we thought we were working hard!
and we thought we were working hard!
Chilean border.
Chilean border.
After an incredibly smooth and quick border crossing we were back on the bikes and on our way into Puerto Natales.  As was becoming our habit, we were once again blown into town.

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Warming up and looking for a place to stay.

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We found a great hotel.

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In the morning Tom’s bike was experiencing a starting problem which was caused by a faulty gearbox neutral sensor – not a simple fix. Luckily it happens infrequently.

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Finally the bike started and off we went, another 70km of gravel and wind to ride to get to the park.

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First view of the mountains in Torres del Peine
First view of the mountains in Torres del Peine

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Reaching the Park gates.

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We had been led to believe that the campsite within the park would be full, but to our amazement there were many tent sites available, so we set up camp with a front row view.

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After setting up camp and enjoying the view we rode further into the park.

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Lowering the tire air pressure as the road altered between rough gravel and washboard.

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While having dinner at the park restaurant we enjoyed viewing both the wildlife and the sunset.

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In the morning weather conditions were warm, sunny and calm as we set off for Punta Arenas via Puerto Natales.
Park road to Puerto Natales
Park road to Puerto Natales
Back in Puerto Natales
Back in Puerto Natales
Putting air back in the tires.
Putting air back in the tires.
We set off for Punta Arenas to catch the ferry for Tierra del Fuego.  That evening in Punta Arenas as we were entering Sorito’s, a restaurant recommended to us for dinner, we noticed Klaus sitting at the head of a long table with the tour group he was driving the support vehicle for. As we approached him to say hello, to our astonishment, sittting beside him was Dave Highton from our home town!   What a great surprise to see such a familiar face and once again proving what an incredibly small world it is.  It was wonderful to run into you Dave.  Hope the rest of your journey was amazing. We look forward to sharing stories.
Wednesday, Feb. 4 caught the 9am ferry to Porvenir, Tierra del Fuego.
On the ferry from Punta Arenas to Tierra del Fuego
On the ferry from Punta Arenas to Tierra del Fuego

 

After a two hour crossing arriving in Port.
After a two hour crossing arriving in Port.
Next, 200km of rippia before crossing back into Argentina from Chile.
Lonely stretch along the coast
Lonely stretch along the coast
Back to serious gravel, wind......
Back to serious gravel, wind……
barrenness.
and barrenness
After 200km of dust we crossed back into Argentina. Our destination for the day had been Rio Grande, but when we arrived all the hotels were full due to a convention!!!   By the time we had looked into all the accommodation options in Rio it was 6:30 pm, but we had light on our side being so far South.  We made the decision to ride the 225km to Ushuaia that evening.
We were greeted with a great road, beautiful vistas and a watercolor sunset.

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Nearing Ushuaia at sunset
Nearing Ushuaia at sunset
We made it…..February 4, 2015…..our first views of Ushuaia; latitude S54 deg. 48′, the end of the Pan American Highway and the southern most city in the world.

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We were pumped.
Next step, Ushuaia – Iguazu Falls…..or so we thought….
talk soon…..l+m  xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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